Unlike the endeavors of theatre artists and musicians, visual artists are rarely known for working collaboratively. Luke Armstrong and Molly Nicklin break the mold with their “cooperative art” in which both artists play an important part in creation. For them, painting becomes an “unspoken connection”, a silent conversation on canvas between two artists – partners in vision and partners in life.

Luke and Molly Painting Together

“Sometimes we take turns; sometimes we both work on the same canvas at the same time. Always, we react to each other’s brush strokes. The result is a visual conversation captured on canvas.”

The two artists met and bonded over their life long passion for art in 2005. Initially just friends, they decided it would be an interesting experiment to attempt painting together. What they discovered was that the process inspired something new in them. They found that they enjoyed the collaboration – and each other – more than they ever imagined they would. That first cooperative painting, done in January of 2006, was aptly entitled “Chemistry”.

For Luke and Molly, every painting grows and changes with each stroke, each composition a unique testament to how much more can be accomplished when equal passions are combined. Their new cooperative style led to the unscripted creation of abstract, dynamic, and colorful one-of-a-kind compositions.

In addition to painting together in their home, Luke and Molly enjoy doing live painting performances – “art improv” – where they share their collaborative process with others. Separately, they continue to explore individual work, which has been informed and bettered by the process of their collaborations.

The cooperative art of Luke Armstrong and Molly Nicklin has been presented in exhibitions and during live painting performances at places such as the Omaha Magic Theatre, The Nomad Lounge, The Blue Flamingo, UNO and Buena Vista University. They continue to explore the unspoken connections that emerge every time their brushes hit the canvas.
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